It's ‘Mario + Rabbids,’ Taylor Swift, and 'Half-Life 3' on Waypoint Radio

We've got Some Thoughts on "Look What You Made Me Do," the potential rise of Carly Rae Jepsen, and more.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The direct download link goes to an episode a few weeks old, just FYI.

Also, Taylor Swift’s new song is real bad.

I don’t know if I am allowed to say this on a Vice site or not but I want… no I need a 3MA about Mario Rabbids Kingdom.


Hasn’t Valve been developing a bunch of hardware over the past decade?

I have a bit of a quibble about ideas from Dota not filtering out into the broader gaming landscape. Hero-based shooters like Overwatch lean pretty heavily on character abilities that were introduced in MOBAs.

Shout-out to you @austin_walker for, despite not liking Half-life, like what it did for the industry.

I hear Ke$ha is back and good now?

I don’t know anything about Taylor Swift so I was surprised that the talk was not about that recent Night in the Woods plagiarism / homage thing, but about her politics.

Austin hadn’t seen this at the time of recording.

I’m not through with the podcast yet, but, thus far, I’d call this the definition of a renaissance.

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The fluid looping focus on movement inside a turn Austin describes in Mario+Rabbids is something that I’ve always enjoyed about the Disgaea games

Minor correction about when Valve started allowing HL2 mods to be sold on Steam it isn’t as clear cut as most people think it is.

There’s two very different paths when it comes to this. The one most people think of is free stand alone mods like Fistful of Frags and No More Room In Hell. This path is very simple, you promise not to sell the game or charge for any part of it through microtransactions etc or else you get in very big trouble. Selling things like soundtracks is fine though.

The other more dangerous path that has already ruined several small studios started by starry eyed modders is the for profit one. Before I get into this here’s the Source Engine distribution FAQ.

Let’s start with the obvious, Valves getting a cut and it is not hard to imagine that they are going to be wanting a hefty one. You are using their engine, their IP, and distributing on their platform. They did most of the work they are going to be wanting most of the money.

Now here comes the part that blind sides most people, middleware. Source is a very modular engine which is really cool because you can just straight up replace the sound system with Wwise or FMOD if you wanted to but it also means it’s relying on a lot of closed source middleware out of the box. Havok wants $25,000 for instance for you using their physics engine. RAD Game Tools is going to want their licensing money as well. There’s also the case as Robert Briscoe of Dear Esther fame found out that a number of licenses are on a per platform basis and that doesn’t just mean PC and the various consoles. That PC category breaks down further into Windows, OSX, and Linux. If you don’t have someone on the team who is an experienced coder who can swap things out for something that is either cheaper or open source you are going to be taking out a very large loan on just the engine.

While having these two points in mind start thinking about things like Prospket that released to negative to middling reviews at a $10 price point. The number of copies you would need to sell to break even is astounding. Unless you can guarantee that you are going to be a Titanfall, Black Mesa, or Insurgency there is no reason you should be using this engine for a game.

So why do people use it? Why are there people who are picking Source over say UE4 or Unity for a project that will most likely land them in debt? Because Valve’s name is attached to it and some feel it will lead to a job at the company like so many other modders before them. The person behind Prospket has talked about numerous times how he was hoping between the very expensive briefcase he mailed them and the game it would get him at least an interview with Valve. So far he hasn’t even gotten a phone call or an email about it.


Among other things, yes. I get Austin’s sentiment. I too want them to be a platform holder plus Double Fine-like company with game jams and documentaries. But, first, they don’t own us anything. And, second, they are innovating like crazy, just not in a “traditional” game space.

The pop discussion is fun but its also weird because pop singers are typically barely musicians outside of being able to sing. If we’re lucky they can play 1 instrument a little but the reality of song writing and production is they typically are just the face of the PR department. To say a modern day pop singer is a genius is a bit misinformed most of the time. Lady Gaga in the past did a lot of song writing (not sure if she still does, haven’t kept up) but she’s more the exception than the rule of the last 20 years. And I think Michael Jackson had a huge part in writing and production.

Yeah, it’s more that the accusation of rent-seeking only really makes sense if Valve is just sitting on their Steam money without investing it anywhere. I am by no means a VR booster, but it seems clear that they’ve been pretty deeply invested in both the display and controller technology for a while, on top of putting out a console controller design and SteamLink, which basically works like magic.

the real loser here is Katy Perry because everyone is too busy dragging Taylor Swift’s mediocre track to even think about her mediocre track, which, man, the Nicki Minaj verse isn’t even very good.

Does…Does Nikki try to actually sing during her verse? Is that a thing she does now? Did anyone think that was a good Idea?